Tag Archives: Jung

The person of Carl Gustav Jung and a classical interpretation of his theories.

Good enough leadership: a good enough example.

Archbishop an example of good enough leadership

Justin Welby hit the headlines by choosing, for his first Easter sermon as Archbishop of Canterbury, his failure as a leader.1  To some, this might seem a slightly odd topic, or perhaps a side-issue to the real message of Easter.  But, from a Jungian perspective, it can be seen as a brilliant choice, both from a leadership point of view and one of personal, spiritual development.

Jung was “absorbed by the question of leadership” (Samuels 1993, p. 287).    Much of Western leadership culture is concerned with aiming to be the perfect leader – doing things better, to a higher standard, or becoming more excellent.  In analytical psychology, however, this is one-sided and unrealistic, and a better leader is one who aspires to wholeness.

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The five functions of psychological type


Myers Briggs theory is based on four psychological functions – Sensing, iNtuition, Thinking, and Feeling.  They are used to perceive facts or possibilities, and make decisions using objective logic or subjective values. (The other letters of the Myers Briggs code – E, I, J and P – describe how those functions are used.)

Isabel Briggs Myers derived her theory from Psychological Types by C.G. Jung (Briggs Myers 1980, p. xvii).  However, Jung’s book describes five psychological functions.  The fifth, which he called the “transcendent function” (Jung 1921, p. 480), was the most important (Jung 1935).  He also produced a paper on the transcendent function five years before publishing Psychological Types (Jung 1916/1957).

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The power of symbols

Crosses at West Kirby Marine Lake

Why do dozens of people stand in near-freezing temperature for an hour, holding two planks of wood, saying very little, and for no reward?  In what has become an annual event at West Kirby, at 10:30am on Good Friday, local churches surrounded the Marine Lake – with the sole aim of holding up a cross for anyone in the vicinity to see.

The symbol of the cross unites more than two billion Christians across the globe.1  But – you might ask – what makes it different to other images that are also recognisable across the world – such as the McDonalds, Apple or BMW logos?

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Jung’s regret over “I don’t need to believe, I know.”


Jung’s most famous televised quote came after he was asked if he believed in God. He replied, “I don’t need to believe, I know” (Jung 1959a, p. 428). His reply caused some furore at the time and, in the decades since, it has been quoted by many – such as Richard Dawkins who cites it as an example of blind faith (Dawkins 2006, p. 51).

Jung immediately regretted his answer – because of it’s controversial, puzzling, or ambiguous nature (Jung 1959b). To understand why, we need to take a look at the context of the interview, and the background of Jung’s attitude towards God.

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